The number of young French people trying to join the military has tripled since the terror attacks that occurred in Paris last month.
According to NBC News, recruiters are receiving an average of 1,500 new applications on a daily basis, which is triple the 500 applications they received a day before the attacks.
In addition to the applications, visits to Air Force recruitment centers have also tripled in the wake of the attacks, and requests for information about joining the military are 20 times higher.
The French Navy reported that the number of applications it has received this year was twice as much as last year’s.
Since the terror attacks, France has been on maximum alert. President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and has deployed over 1,500 troops to the streets.
So far, applications to join the French military this year have topped 170,000, which is a 41 percent increase from 2014.
“This reaction makes me happy as a French soldier, to see that French youngsters are wishing to serve their country and their fellow citizens, by helping to establish peace when their country is in need,” said Colonel Bruno Bert, head of military recruitment for the Paris region.
“I think it is a reaction from young French people who felt threatened, who felt that they were being attacked because of the attacks on Nov. 13. It is a reaction which in some ways is totally natural; it is the reaction when one is faced with a threat.”
French citizen Alice Van Praet, who visited an Army recruitment center in Paris, said the November 13 Paris attacks reinforced her desire to join the military.
“I applied for the army before the attacks in Paris on the internet; I have to say that the events only reinforced my wish to apply. I would like to promote French values through the army.
“I think that all missions that help in the safeguarding of French citizens are very important, the army just as much as police and security services. Therefore, the army is a great way of investing in something as a citizen,” she said.
Sergeant Jean Jacques, who is one of the soldiers evaluating applicants undergoing fitness tests, emphasized the importance of applicants being good physical shape to succeed in combat.
“The importance of the fitness evaluation is like being sent to a war zone; we are preparing soldiers to be sent into combat, to know how to run, to know how to hold a weapon, to shoot, to jump and climb up and down.
“All the exercises are meant to draw a parallel with a war zone. If you have to jump the candidate has to be ready to do so, the importance of being in good condition physically in a professional army is very important,” he said.
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